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syrella
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27 Jun 2011, 9:49 pm

Anybody here cook for themselves? If so, what has been your experiences with it?

I cooked for myself for about two years... learning to cook has been painfully slow, but I've gotten better with practice. A key step for me was slowly weaning myself off of relying on recipes. For a long time, I measured out ingredients exactly and followed each recipe with great precision... that method worked great when everything goes as planned and when the recipe is perfect. However, if the recipe was bad or something went wrong, I had no idea how to fix it. Right now, I'm trying to teach myself how to use recipes again, but not fall back into old habits. :)

For those of you who cook:
Do you follow recipes or do you improvise as you go?
What kinds of food do you make?
Are you concerned about nutrition or do you just cook what tastes go?

For those of you who don't cook:
Does someone prepare your meals for you?
Do you rely on mostly instant / pre-prepared meals?
Do you go out to restaurants?


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SammichEater
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27 Jun 2011, 11:37 pm

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If it wasn't for microwaves and my mom cooking for me, I'd probably starve.


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syrella
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28 Jun 2011, 12:02 am

SammichEater wrote:
Image

If it wasn't for microwaves and my mom cooking for me, I'd probably starve.

Haha. Yeah... I have a really bad history of buying ingredients and never using them. I used to regularly "poison" myself because I didn't know how to store ingredients and/or didn't realize they expired. I've learned to check dates and to inspect the food before immediately assuming it's okay. Like I said, it's been a slow process. :lol:

I live at home again and my mom has been helping me take care of the everyday tasks again. It's a big relief not to worry about starving to death every day. :wink:


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pree10shun
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28 Jun 2011, 12:03 am

SammichEater wrote:
Image

If it wasn't for microwaves and my mom cooking for me, I'd probably starve.


:lol:

I did not take long... but I just didn't want to learn.... but I was forced to when I moved out of my parents place...

Quote:
Do you follow recipes or do you improvise as you go?

I make my own recipes.. I like adding nutritious ingredients...

Quote:
What kinds of food do you make?
Mostly Italian and vietnamese but I cook Indian and Middle eastern too


Quote:
Are you concerned about nutrition or do you just cook what tastes go?
Both, but I have always eaten healthy so both go hand in hand...



Jory
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28 Jun 2011, 12:15 am

I'm still living with my parents, so I benefit from the cooking still being done by someone else. But I've lived with my sister on several occasions for a month at a time in a roommate situation and had to cook for myself, and I did a decent enough job. I'm so lazy, though, that it needs to be a simple task. If I want, say, spaghetti, it's just a matter of boiling noodles and heating up some sauce in the microwave. But if I want a salad, then I'll go buy one that's already prepared.



Chronos
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28 Jun 2011, 12:49 am

syrella wrote:
For those of you who cook:
Do you follow recipes or do you improvise as you go?


If I'm making something specific, for example a dish someone else has previously made, or a cake or some such thing, I usually follow a recipe. For most of my daily meals, I dump in what I have in combinations I think would taste sufficiently good, and cook it until I think it's done.

syrella wrote:
What kinds of food do you make?


Simple. Usually vegetables, some lean poultry or fish and some rice, potatoes or pasta.

syrella wrote:
Are you concerned about nutrition or do you just cook what tastes go?


I will not eat something horrible tasting for the fact that it's healthful, and I will not eat something horribly unhealthful if I determine it's too unhealthful and something healthful will suffice. Generally speaking, my diet is healthful compared to the average American diet, and I'm generally pleased with the taste of the things I prepare. I will indulge in relatively unhealthful things in moderation. For example, I had a mini cheesecake the other day.

Unless one is so absent minded as to pose a danger to ones self or others while cooking, I don't understand what the difficulty is. I started cooking for myself at an early age. I'm certainly not a world class chef but I don't see the mystery in a basic meal.



Apera
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28 Jun 2011, 1:00 am

I'm a scout, and part Italian, so I'm used to cooking for several reasons. In my middle school home-ed class, I learned more about my colleague's stupidity than about cooking, which wasn't terribly surprising. During one exercise, one classmate was tasked with whipping eggs with a fork. When I completed my task, and turned to see him pushing the end of the fork around the dish, i pushed him out of the way and did it properly.

The thing is, I've had very little practice and rely largely on common sense. I'm far from a professional chef, but I can run rings around most of my classmates.


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ValentineWiggin
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01 Jul 2011, 1:22 pm

syrella wrote:
Anybody here cook for themselves? If so, what has been your experiences with it?

It's only very recently I've been trying to make things more complicated than steamable (microwavable) vegetables.
syrella wrote:
Do you follow recipes or do you improvise as you go?

I'm coming off weight loss medication, and have decided it'd be much easier for me to maintain if I had at my command the know-how to whip up really tasty low-calorie/fat/carb stuff. I did actually recently make up my own salsa recipe, which I was quite proud of- it marks the first culinary creation of mine, ever!
syrella wrote:
What kinds of food do you make?

Just that, thus far. I found this awesome website called AllRecipes.com, where you can alter number of servings, search for vegan/gluten-free/low-fat/whatever foods, for every meal of the day, with ingredients you have or like, excluding those with ones you don't, etc...it's pretty freaking awesome. My new beau is coming to visit Monday, so I'm going to try to make some traditional 4TH of July dishes. Will be all the more challenging, this relationship, my being a dieting vegan, and he a meat-and-potatoes type.
syrella wrote:
Are you concerned about nutrition or do you just cook what tastes go?

It's the rare day when I have cooked food at all, as opposed to just raw vegetables or a plate salad.
I've never been particularly-concerned about nutrition, only fat, calories, and carbs.
I have extreme hyposensitivity to taste, so basically anything I eat has to have Naga Viper salsa on it, or else I can't taste it.


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conan
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01 Jul 2011, 7:20 pm

if i want to try something new or something difficult to improvise i will look at a recipe but i can improvise around one if i need to or don't want to buy all the ingredients.

I like making all sorts. i wish i cooked more different things though

I am somewhat concerned about nutrition but i treat myself too. I think i need to cut down on salt and eat more regularly but otherwise i'm ok i think.



ValentineWiggin
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01 Jul 2011, 10:50 pm

That's amazing to me, people who can cook without recipes, or just make something up from an idea-
not taste-wise, because that's almost entirely-subjective,
but what with consistency and such-
I'm in near-awe at the notion of being able to know what ingredients would bind together in an appropriate way in baking, for instance,
or the temperature/time a dish needs to be cooked at off the top of one's head.

Magick! :D


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RedHanrahan
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03 Jul 2011, 5:36 pm

I cook for myself and have done since about 17 years old.

I learned to cook from my my mother initially [the basics and baking] though as a male she resisted this as my sisters were the ones who would 'need the skills' - apparently. Then older flatmates taught me stuff and then once I had decided where my interests lay I obsessed for a while and taught my self technical principles rather than recipes. As a result I seldom consult a recipe and freestyle it all the way. I must qualify thios by ststing that I live as something of an ascetic when it comes to gratifying myself through food and my diet is somewhat repetitive my focus being on good basic nutrition and ethical considerations.

Cooking is fun and feeding other people very satisfying, give it a go you may like it.

peace j


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neerdowell
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04 Jul 2011, 12:52 pm

I used to hate cooking but since I changed my diet I have grown to love cooking. I went vegan 12 years ago and in order to be healthy I was forced to learn how to cook. Now I can cook just about any type of food from scratch. I use cook books just for some ideas and from there I come up with my own recipes.

One of my families favorite things to do is to plan out the weeks meal plans and make sure we have all the vegetables and herbs that we need for the week. I always laugh when people claim that I must not have a healthy diet when I easily get enough protein and all necessary vitamins. The only thing I don't get is b12 which I get from my multivitamin.

My favorite types of food to cook is waffles though. I make different types of waffles every week. Yesterday I even made beer waffles that were awesome.



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14 Jul 2013, 6:00 pm

I occasionally cook--most of the time, though, my mom cooks. I made Mexican chicken and rice this evening--just chicken, olive oil, rice, and lots of spices. Olive oil in Mexican food sounds weird, but trust me, it's delicious--plus, it's healthier than vegetable oil but tastier than cooking fat-free. I forgot to add salt, though...I had to sprinkle it on after I made it, which isn't as chef-like.



Cilantro
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14 Jul 2013, 9:13 pm

I often browse for recipes online or borrow family cookbooks to find ideas, but I'm capable of improvising and cooking without directions when the dish is simple. There's a dill pickle soup a friend shared with me that I want to try.

Stuffed peppers, salsa, rice-based dishes, and stir-fry is about as complicated as I like my cooking. I don't mind 30-60 minutes of preparation or 1-2 hours of total time in the kitchen, but any longer and I have to question if the food's going to be worth it.

I began cooking for myself so that I could eat healthier and rely less on things like Ramen and frozen foods, which make me feel terrible if I keep stuffing myself with them, so I'm somewhat concerned with health. I try to involve fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, etc. I'll use peppers, spices, and fresh herbs for flavoring over sauces and dressing when I can. I still use highly processed ingredients sometimes (see: American cheese for grilled cheese) and don't know too much about nutrition, but it's an improvement overall.

I might look into making my own candy at home, depending on the amount of equipment needed and costs.



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15 Jul 2013, 12:57 am

Cilantro wrote:

I might look into making my own candy at home, depending on the amount of equipment needed and costs.


I think you can get by with a sturdy pot, and a good thermometer.

I've been trying to introduce more vegetables into meals. I'm making a little progress with my kids, but my husband is a lost cause. :roll: